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March 12, 2010     Post-Gazette
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March 12, 2010

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Page4 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 12, 2010 by Sal Giarratani )' ! RETAIL SALES BEAT ESTIMATES! Neither snow or sleet will stop shoppers feet as 78% of retailers reported their best month in the last two years. February sales at stores open for one year grew 4.1% versus FebrUary 2009 said Ken Perkins, President of Retail Metrix. Rather than a forecast of 3% rise, a healthy 78% beat views its sixth straight gain for same store reports. The S&P retail in- dex rose to its best level since December 2007. This was impressive considering all the storms that hit the Northeast and Midwest noted Perkins. "Perhaps cus- tomers are feeling better about their long term secu- rity" he said. "Maybe the 90% of the work force that is working feels a little better." Specialty apparel was the largest segment with an 8.1% rise in comps, com- putes Perkins. Teen apparel stores rose 4.8% versus fore- cast for a decline. Retailers did a great job with luring shoppers with attractive spring,fashions. They kept their inventories tight and did les discounting. Comps would have been better, but the weather hurt sales, luxury sales 7.6% seven year rise, led all sections. Nordstrom's sales jumped 10.8% sailing past views. Abercrombie and Fitch en- joyed a 5% gain. Aeropostale enjoyed a 7% rise in sales. TJX kept up its winning streak with a 10% gain and Ross Stores came in up 11%. JC Penney and Macy's also topped views. Perkins ex- pects March reports to rise 2.6% versus last year amid a consumer recovery. Em- ployers shed a less than ex- pected 36,000 jobs in Febru- ary, while unemployment rose, but did not tick up as expected to 9.8%. The House last Thursday OK'd a tempo- rary tax break for firms that hired unemployed workers which should help. The job- less will remain high as the millions of workers that stopped looking will re-enter the labor force. Temporary jobs rose 48,000 last month on a sign that firms may be ready to hire permanent workers. Manufacturing added 1,000 new jobs in February, but construction payrolls fell by 64,000. The government shed 18,000 jobs even though 15,000 temporary census workers were hired, Home sales have fallen sharply in Feb- ruary een before the tax credit expires in the spring. The NASDAQ jumped 3.9% for the week, the NYSE rose 3.9% and the Dow 2.3%. GM is offering to reinstate 661 of the 1,300 dealers tar- geted for closure as part of its 2009 restructuring before July 15% 2010. The 6,150 dealerships at the end of 2008 included franchises of the Hummer, Saturn, Saab and Pontiac's that GM is selling or winding down. Apple rises .4% to a new high after it started to take orders for a new tablet device for a late March debut. Micro- soft posted new pictures of its DVD screen tablet called Courier. Consumer debt rose in December as con- sumer debt rose by $5 bil- lion or a 2.4% annual rate. Economists expected a drop of $4.5 billion. Auto and re- lated non-revolving debt in- creased $6.6 billion. Con- sumers are getting less cau- tious about spending. Janu- ary debt rose by 2.4% or $5 billion. Credit card and other revolving debt fell for the 16  straight month in January. The White House projects receipts will jump from 14% this year to 18%/GDP in 2012 due to tax hikes and a strong recovery. While the economy grew at 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Economists expected that to peak in the 2 "d quarter and lose momen- tum through 2010. Congress has no plans to tackle the deficit. Congress refused to extend jobless benefits be- cause the measure was giv- ing to the funding by debt. The White House under- scores the need to get real- istic and America could loss its AAA credit rating as the nation needs a limit on its borrowing capacity. Proposed tax hikes include expiration of Bush's income tax cuts for high earners, taxes on banks and expiration on making workers pay for tax credit for 95% of working families in 2012. That amounts to .3% of GDP, the rest of the 5% tightening would stem from the reduced energy safety net spending, and the higher taxes as the economy improves. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. Free Census Job Seminar TIPS to Landing a Census Job free seminar is being offered Saturday, March 13% 2010, 1:00 - 2:30PM at the North End Library for those interested in the $22/ hour part-time and full-time census job opportunities. A DIVORCE * CRIMINAL * LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS * ESTATE PLANNING * TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY * WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS LIFE HEALTH BUSINESS GROUP Experience makes the difference WE PROMISE TO MEET OR IMPROVE YOUR PRESENT POLICY COVERAGE AT AFFORDABLE RATES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Census Recruiter from the North End will host a Q&A portion and walk through a practice test to share strat- egies for better hiring test scores. This is the last TIPS session before all testing ends in early April. Open to everyone. Reserve your seat at NorthEnd201 (,nsus@gma oom or by calling 617-848-3240. Rapino Memorial Home 9 Chelsea St., East Boston 617-567-1380 Kirby-Rapino Memorial Home 917 Bennington St. East Boston 617-569-0305 Dino C. Manca Funeral Director A Family Sense Affiliate of AFFS/Service Cop. Int'l 206 Winter St. * Fall River, MA 0720 508-676-2454 Pointing Fingers Everywhere but at the Facts? "I think we handled it appropriately given the information that we had." -- US Representative Bill Delahunt at a February 25 th press conference William Delahunt was the Norfolk County District At- torney back on December 6, 1986 and was referring to the December 6, 1986 shoot- ing of Seth Bishop by his sis- ter, Amy at their 48 Hollis Avenue home, which was ruled accidental at that time. This case was almost all but forgotten until Amy Bishop was charged with killing three colleagues and wound- ing three others during a University of Alabama- Huntsville faculty meeting on February 12. Delahunt seemed to place all blame on the lack of charges beiog filed back in 1986 on the backs of the Braintree Police Depart- ment. Delahunt emphati- cally stated, "District attor- neys do not initially inter- view witnesses, process the crime scene and collect evi- dence." If he was implying case closed, it now seems far from closed. I am a friend of Bill Delahunt back then and now. I supported him in his first narrow election to Con- gress. He is friend and politi- cal ally. However, the more we know about 1986 and Amy Bishop, the more we now know that an apparent miscarriage of justice was done for Seth Bishop. It is the job of police investigators and criminal prosecutors to be the voice for those with- out a voice any longer. No one it now seems, ever thought to be Seth Bishop's voice. Back in 1986, I was re- siding with the same East Braintree residents and I hardly remember anything about that shooting and the getaway by Amy Bishop. Why would I remember an acci- dental fatal shooting? The case at that time surely stayed under the public ra- dar screen. However, now with 20-20 hindsight and the Alabama shootings, it does appear something went ter- ribly wrong back in 1986. Was it a cover-up? If it was, who was involved? Was po- litical pressure applied to end the booking of Bishop at the police station on the night of the shooting? I am aghast that as re- ported in the Braintree Forum on February 24, 2010, two Braintree cops and one state trooper from Delahunt's of- fice were scheduled to inter- view Amy's parents and then her. The interview report- edly took place on December 1Z, 1986. Did it? In a report written by Trooper Brian Howe dated March 30, 1987 to summarize the investiga- tion there was no mention of Bishop's post-shooting ac- tions. No mention of fleeing the house with the rifle. No mention of the Dave Dinger Ford dealership. No mention of threatening the dealer- ship's workers. No mention of the showdown with two Braintree police officers? Also, in Howe's report it stated that "It was deter- mined that the cause of death of Seth Bishop would be listed as the accidental discharge of a firearm ... and that the investigation would be concluded." Today, both former DA Bill Delahunt and his First Norfolk Assistant District Attorney John Vivian report- edly said that gun charges in her getaway from the house that fatal day, had they been known, would have been filed. Their excuse is we knew nothing about what happened immediately fol- lowing the shooting. Well respected attorney Wendy Fox who handles many high-profile domestic cases and often is a guest commentator on news pro- grams believes that some- thing went wrong back in 1986. She says reframing the case today and saying (Continued on Page 14) NORTH END00 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs m COMPETITIVE PRICES m 617-227-8929